about Rosemary Zibart - a dramatist of the heart
I’m a writer who’s written in almost every media – film scripts, magazine and newspaper articles, picturebooks, middle-grade and young adult novels, essays, plays, screenplays and most recently websites.
I consider myself a storyteller and it really depends on the story itself as to which media is most appropriate….
Before I could read, I would hold up a book and pretend to read while making up a story – I believe that was my first foray into the craft. A slow learner, I didn’t read until 3rd grade. Then I became an unstoppable reader, hiding a book under my desk, so I could read all the time. And there’s no better way to learn how to write than to read.
Later I was fortunate enough to be involved with the extraordinary Nashville Children’s Theater. My favorite role was as the dormouse in Alice in Wonderland – I still remember my costume -- a grey terrycloth mouse outfit with a little garnet velvet jacket and big white satin collar.
Unfortunately after directing Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with fellow 7th graders (they said I was a tyrant), I believed I knew everything about theatre and gave it up for several decades.
After college, I first worked as a TV scriptwriter and then – after a number of unfortunate years where I had no idea what to do with myself – I became a journalist.
In 1987 following my 20th high school reunion, my husband, Jake Barrow and I moved to Santa Fe. The warmth, open-mindedness, open-heartedness and creative spirit of the people who live here is a perpetual pleasure – and its physical beauty feeds the soul. Several years later we made another sort of journey by adopting two children, Tanya and Sergei.
In a way, those experiences inspired my children’s story TRUE BRIT: Beatrice Arrives 1940 about a privileged English girl who comes from London to dusty Santa Fe during the war – which will be published this summer.
About ten years ago, I returned to theatre when I wrote a play for young people about sexual harassment called GET IT!! I didn’t really dedicate myself to playwriting, however, until 2007 when I sent off a few plays and got some recognition.
I work with people on developing their own stories for a production called Minds Interrupted: Stories of Lives Affected by Mental Illness and I interview people for short videos on a website thecrookedhouse.org. See ADVOCACY.
But the majority of my time is spent in writing stories and plays. In my opinion, fiction and non-fiction both have great qualities. For instance, people say things that are far more arresting and poignant than anything I could make up. On the other hand, a writer can write stuff that’s “truer than true” as a character says in the play Never Ever Land.
Fiction (or any art form) has the possibility of distilling the facts into a far bigger “truth” and also reaching beyond what we see, touch, feel, hear to bring into the human experience something of the unknowable universe. Stories remind people that our heartfelt humanity is truly the goal of living. As I learned recently from a Shakespeare scholar, the word human and humane were once the same.
I am often awed by great writing and it inspires me to write. And as Simone Weil stated: The work of art which I do not make, none other will ever make.”
An ardent grandmother who lives in Santa Fe, NM - Rosemary keeps track of her experiences with young Brandon in “The Granny Diaries.” (read samples here) In 2004, she received an “Angel in Adoption” award from the National Coalition on Adoption Institute in Washington.